In not so many words

Hallo from Pookaverse. Both hooms mended with pills. From what can only be understood from the excellent Doctor speaking minimal English that we visited on Tuesday in San Ramon as a Streptococcus Infection. On examination, just so an image can evolve, both hooms throats were described under the tongue-depressor and a very long “Ahhhhhh” as “Roja y Amarillo” (Red and Yellow).

08:30 in the morning at the site...after the rickety 30 minute bus ride... and the 1.5km walk to work...

08:30 in the morning at the site…after the rickety 30 minute bus ride… and the 1.5km walk to work…

These infections appear to be carried by the wind when the climate in Costa Rica, of which there are two distinct seasons, changes from the high humidity of the Winter to Summer – July to November and December to June respectively.

Afflicting “Gringos” and “Ticos” with impunity.

Some remarks for those interested in healthcare abroad. Costa Rica operates no NHS-like support – all paid for at the point of need. So. A consultation with the doctor taking blood pressure, chest examination and several questions came to $92 for two. £57.02 or £28.51 each. That is before the prescribed medication. Apiece. 3 antibiotics, 6 anti-inflamatories and a small bottle of ‘mystery’.

It is unknown where this pile of stones will be going...but it is known how they will be getting there...

It is unknown where this pile of stones will be going…but it is known how they will be getting there…

Which, if understood correctly, provides a boost to the immune system. Total cost for two was £48.94. We pay via healthcare in the UK via direct taxation. The true cost of healthcare when up close is just plain ugly. Though the remedy works, the nightly convulsive coughing has abated.

However. Apologies for the drawn pauses between posts. A combination of illness, adjusting to the climate and getting down to some real work on the project for which both Pookaverse hooms have volunteered. All those months ago. Online. By email. Up close and personal.

Herraldo in front of his emerging home...Project Manager and Beneficiary

Herraldo in front of his emerging home…Project Manager and Beneficiary

In Costa Rica. At least it appears on the smaller construction projects into which we are invested. No machinery. All by hand. And spade and bucket. From Tuesday 8 January,  this involved earth-moving heavy clay soil from the rear of the property and barrowing it away across the street.

Jacob puts another dent in 'the bastard patch of clay'...Codename "Britney Gaga"

Jacob puts another dent in ‘the bastard patch of leaden material’…Codename “Britney Gaga”

A distance of nearly 30 yards. Down a slope and over planks. To be deposited in a neighbour’s back garden. Repeat. Ad nauseum. In 28 degree heat the term becomes a working title for riverlets of sweat, dust and dirt.  But satisfactory work none the less.

The evening shower is bliss. Clean clothes and restful sleep. Nothing for the mind to do at night except contemplate where Pookaverse is – Central America – and how long it will be until we are due to return to blighty – 7 weeks.

The first coat of a 2-coat saga that will eventually be George's bedroom...he seemed to like the colour

The first coat of a 2-coat saga that will eventually be George’s bedroom…he seemed to like the colour

And attempting not to disturb one of the many dogs that likes to throw itself down in your path for an afternoon kip. However there is Coffee twice a day. Served black with sugar. Not bitter just smooth. The best in the world? It is a strong argument as we try out our Spanish on Herraldo with banana bread or the Costa Rican specialty of sour cream on French-looking baguettes.

Pookaverse found out that the person to whom we report each week-day morning, Herraldo, will be the owner of the house once complete. His wife Sonia and son George – which in Spanish is Brobdinagian in pronunciation sounding something like “Hoor-Hey” will be the beneficiaries.  The likelihood being that this project will be completed before Pookaverse leaves the project on February 02. There are four hooms on the project including Jacob from England on a gap year and Ann from Australia taking a break from a broken heart in Sydney.

Plenty left to do next week...and the week after that...and the week after that

Plenty left to do next week…and the week after that…and the week after that

Back and forth goes Spanish, spoken. Colloquial to Costa Rica. At a clip by Herraldo. Interested in what we do back in England. “Programmer de Computador” is as close as Rohan can get. “Ahhhh”, says Herraldo, “Mucho Money” beckoning with the universal sign for money rubbing thumb and fore-fingers together.  “Si”, Rohan responds. “Mucho Money, Mucho Taxes” making the universal sign of the pickpocket “para Governmente” (for Government) y para guerra en Afghanistan” (for the war in Afghanistan). “And the Falkland Islands if that all kicks off again”

The universal sign and sound of the machine gun is delivered in pantomime. There is some confusion. And a sober acknowledgement appears to cross Herraldo’s face. It is a war far away that most people in Costa Rica are probably only dimly aware of. Clearly there is some way to go in Anglo-Costa Rican communications. We will of course let you know what happens next…

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3 Responses to “In not so many words”

  1. Thompson Says:

    Glad you’re feeling better – it’s awful being ill when you are abroad.
    It snowed here this morning so it looks like you are a world away. Hope the project is going well and that you get to see it through to the end.

  2. Terri and Andrew Says:

    Glad you are both on the mend Ali and Rohan, have sent you an e-mail Ali and forget to day the tonic you left behind has been very helpful after my recent flu/cold!
    Catch up soon, safe travels and don’t work too hard!!
    Lots of Love, Terri and Andrew xx

  3. jose Says:

    Hope you’re feeling much improved, it sounds really hard work you’ve volunteered for but I’m sure Herraldo and his family will by
    very appreciative lf your efforts, it’ll will be great leaving there knowing you have made a difference, well done you two !

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